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Mo Pitney

Behind This Guitar – 2016 (Curb)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Mo Pitney

Mo Pitney's breakthrough single, "Country," features a lyric about some of the more positive distinctive attributes in the Southern lifestyle. However, with the 12 songs on his "Behind This Guitar" debut, Pitney demonstrates many of the admirable factors found in traditional country music. Artists do these things in the country music, if they're doing it right, and Pitney sure enough does it right.

Even something that could have come off overly corny, if messed up, "It's Just a Dog" comes off like a truly moving ode to man's best friend. Then with "I Met Merle Haggard Today," Pitney creates the kind of track the late country icon might have proud been proud to sing himself (even though it would have come off really strange and self-referential, had he actually had the chance to sing it). Pitney proves he can sing a sad song with "Clean Up on Aisle Five," which details an unexpected meeting with an ex at a grocery store. "Take the Chance" is a much happier song, all about stepping out connecting with a romantic partner, which is made all the sweeter by the presence of the angelic Alison Krauss on backing vocals.

As Pitney performs "When I'm With You," he does so with the poise and skill of a George Strait. It's unusual to hear such a young performer sound so self-assured, but Pitney is something truly special. Indeed, there's a whole lot of goodness coming from behind this guitar.